Today I Learned: There’s A War Dog Memorial In Michigan
Dogs not only participate in war, but they, like their human compatriots, sometimes pay the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Is Located At A Pet Cemetery In Oakland County
The Michigan War Dog Memorial is located along 11 Mile Road northwest of Detroit in South Lyon. It was established to honor the Military Working Dog, the dogs who have been trained to work along side soldiers in war zones, sniffing out bombs, mines, or even the enemy.
According to the War Dog Memorial web site:
The Michigan War Dog Memorial, Inc is a non-profit organization that will educate the general public on the heroics and dedication that K-9's give to serve and protect us through presentations and seminars.
Our Mission is to continue restoration of this hallowed ground into a park setting and maintain that setting for the purpose of allowing interment of retired Military Working Dogs and retired Service Dogs. To provide interment, with full honors, at no cost to the handler/owner. To provide research for military records and/or service records. This mission will be accomplished by private and corporate donations.
The War Dog Memorial has been up and running for seven years, and currently honors dogs by having former MWDs buried on the grounds.
Here's a nice tour of the cemetery posted recently by a visitor.
There Is A Wall That Honors The Dogs That Served Alongside Soldiers In Vietnam
They also have a wall, similar to the Vietnam War Wall in Washington, DC, which honors past MWDs for their ultimate sacrifice during that same conflict.
During the Vietnam War 4,234 “War Dogs” were deployed. They had one main mission, to save the lives of our men and women in uniform. They did their job well, it is estimated they saved over 10,000 lives during this war. As the War was winding down an order came through that all the troops would be pulling out, the troops were ecstatic. All the dog handlers ran to the kennels and hugged their battle buddy and said “Buddy we’re going home”. A few weeks later an order came down from Washington DC to leave the dogs. The handlers couldn’t believe it, however the order stood, sad but true.
The problem was the K9’s were classified as equipment and it was customary when the units are being pulled out and excess equipment is not needed any where else it was left behind. With the dogs being classified as “Equipment” they fell under that rule.
To honor these well trained K9’s that saved so many lives the Michigan War Dog Memorial erected a Black Granite Wall with all their names and tattoo numbers to recognize them for their service and sacrifice to our country. They will be forever memorized and will “Never be Forgotten”.
This all was an education for me, as I had no idea such a place existed. I also learned that there is a K9 Veteran's Day, which is June 25, and is celebrated on the grounds of the MWDM.
Therapy Dogs Who Have Aided Veterans Also Have A Special Place At MWDM
Not only are war dogs who served alongside the military honored and interred at the MWDM, but current therapy dogs who have aided and helped veterans cope with injuries are honored as well.
One such therapy dog, Luke, was buried with honors just last week.
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